OFIC plans major Food Techno Park in Oman

MUSCAT, APRIL 24
Oman Food Investment Holding Company (OFIC), the food sector investment arm of the Omani government, has commissioned a leading consultant to study the feasibility of establishing a first-of-its-kind Food Techno Park in the Sultanate.
The proposed hub, which is likely to come up as part of the Innovation Park Muscat (IPM) in Muscat Governorate, is part of a rapidly intensifying effort by the government — represented by OFIC — to enhance and secure the Sultanate’s strategic food requirements over the long time.
Crowe Horwath (Al Ghazali Management & Economic Consultants) has been selected by OFIC to undertake the feasibility study. An Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed by Eng Saleh bin Mohammed al Shanfari (pictured), Chief Executive Officer of OFIC, with Amarjeet Majumdar, Managing Partner — Crowe Horwath, here yesterday.
The proposed Food Techno Park is the latest in an expanding portfolio of initiatives launched by the wholly government-owned OFIC to help advance the Sultanate’s food security strategies. The holding company is spearheading investments in mega-scale dairy and poultry farming projects, as well as initiatives spanning red meat production, milk collection, animal feed production, fruit and vegetable marketing, and food logistics.
In comments to the Observer, OFIC’s chief executive Saleh al Shanfari said: “The Food Techno Park designed to foster technology and innovation in the food sector. This is a place where researchers and entrepreneurs will innovate ideas and bring in new technology in the food sector. It’s an eco-system where opportunities in food investment and development will be incubated and studied for the benefit of Oman and indeed the wider world.”
The facility, said the CEO, will be established in a place where it can serve the entire country and the wider region, although Muscat is the most likely candidate to host this hub. “The objective is to bring food-related innovation and enterprise under one roof to allow for ideas to be conceptualised and taken through to commercialisation in one location.”
Amarjeet Majumdar, Managing Partner — Crowe Horwath, added: “The Food Techno Park is a futuristic concept floated by OFIC and its visionary management. The feasibility study entrusted to us will look at how small and medium businesses (SMEs), entrepreneurs and start-ups in the food sector can be supported by OFIC and what can be done to help these players set up projects. The hub will be designed to cater to all aspects of the food industry.”